27 April 2023

By Philip Kuepper

Rimbaud rowed drunken his ocean.
Berryman leapt out of mind
into the river of his verse.
Sexton rowed awe-filled
to her God.
Shelley drowned as he rowed.
The flow of poetry has been known to be
a whitewater rapids,
a wreck of a Hesperus of verse.
The ice-cube in the glass
of a convivial evening,
can grow into an iceberg
for a captain at the helm of a poem,
who must decide when to launch
a lifeboat so that it doesn’t become
a deathtrap. Then, too, the flow
can pull the poet along on the smoothest
of currents. All is cream, then.
All is the sweet slurping up
of perfectly measured syllables
that do not skip a beat.
Myself? I keep in mind,
if need be, I must know
how to row with a pair of broken oars,
no matter how far from any shore.

(21 April 2023)

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